Commanders add Trent Williams and Robert Griffin III to the “90 Greatest” picks


Commanders add Trent Williams and Robert Griffin III to the "90 Greatest" picks

On Saturday, the Washington Commanders announced that they would add 15 nominees to their list of all-time greatest players as the franchise celebrates its 90th season this year. Left tackle Trent Williams was conspicuously absent, leading to speculation fans and media members that he was deliberately omitted because of the months-long row that marked the end of his tenure in Washington, as well as shouts on social media about it The list was a joke without him.

At 10:00 a.m. Monday, Williams and quarterback Robert Griffin III were added to the poll, which already included fullback Mike Sellers, kicker Chip Lohmiller and assistant coach Larry Peccatiello.

“Your feedback over the past 48 hours has been heard and we appreciate your passion,” the team tweeted.

In 2002, a 12-member panel appointed by Commanders owner Daniel Snyder and led by former CNN news anchor Bernard Shaw selected the 70 greatest players and coaches in franchise history. Ten other names — including Clinton Portis, Sean Taylor, LaVar Arrington, Chris Samuels, and Bobby Beathard — were added to the franchise’s 80th anniversary team in 2012. Another 10 people, determined by online fan voting, will be added to the roster each season.

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In addition to Sellers, Lohmiller, Peccatiello, Williams and Griffin, who was named 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year after leading Washington to its first NFC East title in 13 years, the following players and coaches appear on this year’s poll: Champ Bailey, Chris Cooley, Kirk Cousins, Stephen Davis, London Fletcher, Darryl Grant, DeAngelo Hall, Ryan Kerrigan, Joe Lavender, Alfred Morris, Santana Moss, and LaVern “Torgy” Torgeson.

According to a Commanders spokesman, the slate of candidates was assembled after a collaborative effort by several members of the franchise’s 80th anniversary team, other select alumni, and team leadership. Feedback on social media over the weekend, much of which was directed to Commanders President Jason Wright, prompted the team to amend the ballot to include Williams and Griffin. The team also corrected several Spelling mistakes and other errors on the site since Saturday.

Brian Mitchell, a member of the franchise’s 80th anniversary team, said on his radio show Monday that he was surprised William’s name was missing from the first vote.

“His name was on a list that was sent out to a lot of people who tentatively voted,” Mitchell said on 106.7 the Fan. “I know people who voted for Trent. I damn sure did.”

Given his continued success, including seven Pro Bowls with Washington after the team selected him with their fourth overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, Williams’ omission was even more glaring than Griffin. It wasn’t hard to imagine why both players were initially ruled out.

Griffin, who was fired from the team in 2016, scrapped plans earlier this year for a memoir in which he promised to share stories of dysfunction within the organization and the “medical mismanagement” that he said contributed to the knee injury , which changed his career.

Williams’ exit was messier. In 2019, he skipped the team’s mandatory minicamp and training camp, then lasted through the first half of the season after requesting a trade. Williams returned after the Oct. 29 trade deadline and was placed on the non-football injury list, ending his season. He told reporters at the time that his frustration stemmed from a botched cancer diagnosis by the team’s medical staff. The saga ended in April 2020 when Washington traded Williams to the San Francisco 49ers for two draft picks.

“The omission of Trent was clearly intentional,” Al Galdi said on his podcast Monday.

While acknowledging that the team “wasn’t entirely blameless” in the dispute, Galdi added that he wouldn’t blame Snyder if he was still mad at Williams after his ugly break with the organization.

“My goal was to be a good teammate and to bring a good product to the field, and I think I accomplished both,” Williams said in December 2020 ahead of his first meeting with Washington as a member of the 49ers. “I played some pretty good, productive football during my time there and received a lot of awards for it. And that’s all I wanted to do. I want my legacy, if you think of me, to be a football player who does his job pretty well. If they don’t think that when they see me, then they just have a disagreement.”

Williams made the Pro Bowl in each of his first two seasons with the 49ers and was named a first-team All-Pro last year. EA Sports recognized his greatness last week when the developer of the Madden video game franchise made him the first offensive lineman to earn a 99 overall rating.

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